The Feline Skin Microbiome: The Microorganisms Inhabiting The Skin of Healthy And Allergic Cats

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Older, Caitlin E
Microbiome, Feline, Veterinary Medicine, Cat
thesis / dissertation description
The skin in inhabited by a multitude of microorganisms. In order to further understand how disease and the microbiome are related, we propose to set a standard for what the commensal bacterial microbiome is on the skin of cats. To describe the cutaneous bacterial microbiome of cats and its relationship with disease, the skin surfaces on various regions of 10 normal cats and 10 allergic cats were sampled. Genomic DNA was extracted from skin swabs and sequenced using primers that target the V4 region of the 16S rRNA in bacteria. The sequences revealed that there is a significant difference in species diversity and richness between haired and non-haired/mucosal sites. No significant difference in alpha or beta diversity was seen between cats or between body sites, other than between nostril and each site. There is a significant difference in the species richness and diversity between allergic and healthy cats, but not in microbiome composition.